JERUSALEM — A court here on Tuesday sentenced an Israeli man convicted of abducting and murdering a Palestinian teenager in 2014 to life in prison and an additional 20 years, sealing a case that has roiled Israelis and Palestinians.

Rejecting an insanity plea that was submitted at the end of the trial, the Jerusalem District Court had ruled last month that Yosef Haim Ben-David, 31, was fully responsible for his actions when he and two teenage nephews abducted Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, off a street near the boy’s East Jerusalem home, drove him to a forest on the outskirts of the city, choked him, beat him unconscious and burned him to death in the early hours of July 2, 2014.

One of the teenage defendants was sentenced in February to life in prison, and the other received a 21-year term after the judges determined that he had played a lesser role in the murder. Their names have not been made public because they were 16 at the time of the crime.

Mr. Ben-David expressed regret in the courtroom on Tuesday, apologizing to Mr. Abu Khdeir’s relatives, who have attended dozens of court proceedings, and telling them that what happened was “not in my character” and that he had not been in control of his actions, according to Asher Ohayon, the public defender representing him.

After the sentencing, Mr. Abu Khdeir’s family members hurled curses at Mr. Ben-David and called him a “murderer” and a “racist,” according to the Israeli news media.

Mr. Ben-David was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and an additional 20 years for crimes leading up to the murder, including the attempted kidnapping of an 8-year-old Palestinian boy in the same area of East Jerusalem the night before. The boy managed to escape after his mother shouted and struggled with the would-be kidnappers.

The court ordered Mr. Ben-David to pay compensation of 150,000 shekels, or about $40,000, to the Abu Khdeir family and 20,000 shekels to the family of the 8-year-old.

Mr. Ohayon, the public defender, said he planned to appeal the conviction on the grounds that Mr. Ben-David was not responsible for his actions.

Source: Israeli Gets Life in Prison for Murder of Palestinian Teenager – The New York Times

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